Overall, parents anticipate spending an average of $1,239 this back-to-school season, up 8% from 2014, and up 24% since 2011. Technology for classroom use is a significant contributor to the added costs, with 82% saying their children use tech for learning (vs. 77% in 2014), including the following:
Almost 65% of parents of college-aged young adults worry about their child’s ability to manage money while 40% believe their young adults will run out of money in the first month of college. Meanwhile, parents are concerned about their child’s ability to manage their credit ratings, coinciding with text alerts and freeze spending apparently helping parents feel more comfortable about their child’s ability to manage finances. In response to these findings, MasterCard is partnering with the International Student Identity Card Association (ISIC) to give students the identity benefits of the ISIC card. Cardholders are also entitled to more than 40,000 discounts and benefits in over 120 countries. By combining an ISIC card with a MasterCard branded payment card, students have access to services at every stage and aspect of their student life, providing them with easy and secure ways to manage their money, track spending and purchase goods at discounted prices – whether online or in store.
Dr. Jo Webber, Chair and Founder of Virtual Piggy, an innovator in safe online youth purchasing, and Pradeep Ittycheria, Co-Founder, announced that they would join Albert Donahue, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Xsolla (an in-game payment solutions company specializing in online games) in a panel discussion at the 2012 Game Developers Conference. The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest professionals-only game industry event. The panel is titled “Like, OMG: Reaching Tweens & Teens (Presented by Xsolla)” and will provide attendees with insight in to how to effectively reach tweens and teens in games, and how to gain parents’ trust in the process.
Western Union is appealing to consumers to use caution when sending money to people who claim to be family members and friends for emergencies without first confirming that the person is actually in trouble. The most common of these scams are the Grandparent Scam and the Social Networking Scam. Grandparents across the country are falling victim to a surprisingly effective scam in which they receive phone calls from people who claim to be their grandchildren and frantically ask for money. The telephone calls often come late at night with the callers saying they’re in an emergency situation from scammers posing as grandchildren to ask them to send money through a money transfer service as quickly as possible. Another version of an emergency scam involves hacking into social networking sites such as Facebook and then targeting friends in the victim’s account.
Moggle security platform for children under the age of 18 officially unveiled its “Virtual Piggy” technology, allowing minors to conduct transactions with online merchants, games and social networks in a safe environment under parent supervision. With “Virtual Piggy,” parents can setup, monitor and control their children’s spending online. Parents can determine how much the child can spend in a single transaction, or over time, the merchants with which the child can transact, and setup approval rules and notification methods. It simply tracks all spending and gives parents alerts and reports on patterns for when and where funds are spent. The technology has been certified by the Chase Paymentech system and can process transactions from all major credit and debit card systems and is hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform.
With 62% of parents looking for ways to teach their kids about the importance of money management before they overspend, American Express and Jean Chatzky personal finance expert have introduced “The National Money Night Talk” program to encourage families to engage on money and financial responsibility. The Program is available through www.moneynighttalk.com, where parents can sign a pledge that they will talk to their kids about money and access exclusive Jean Chatzky videos and resources endorsed by the Council for Economic Education, based on the organization’s national content standards. The free online resource (www.moneynighttalk.com) is available in three different tracks based for middle school, high school and college students and features videos, frequently asked questions and talk points to help parents start and sustain the money dialogue beyond “National Money Night.”
Socialwise has released “BillMyParents” 2.0 with a MasterCard prepaid
In addition to removing obstacles to online commerce, the
BillMyParents’ prepaid card solution removes the hazards associated with
BillMyParents also maintains parents’ credit card numbers and other
personal information securely, and offers the following unique advantages:
complete parental visibility of teen account activity through immediate
text notification of card purchase activity;
parental ability to instantly freeze and unfreeze a card;
low card-related costs including no purchase transaction fees; and
parental ability to transfer emergency funds in real time to a teen’s card.
The Western Union Foundation has donated $2
million to communities in 19 countries through the “Our World, Our Family”
signature cause program, culminating in $9.1 million in grant monies
awarded in 2008 and marking a 67%increase in grants paid from 2007. The
” Our World, Our Family” program is a five-year, $50 million
signature program designed to provide communities with the skills,
knowledge and resources essential to breaking the cycle of poverty. The
framed around four areas: Our World Gives; Our World Learns; Our World
Strives and Our
World Speaks. Through grant awards, each program area is given equal
towards helping families across the globe continue stay connected, overcome
barriers and realize their dreams. In 2008, the Western Union
Foundation awarded grants to 276
organizations in more than 75 countries and territories, supporting
causes from natural
disaster relief to fostering educational opportunities in communities
around the world.
Giving in 2008 focused on disaster relief grants, direct donations to
organizations and Agent Giving Circle grants or direct donations from
its Agents worldwide.
Mint and Yep! Mobile have signed contracts to provide the “Mint
Mastercard” prepaid card through the Facebook.com Platform applications
targeting the “social gaming” demographic. Combining Yep!’s online
marketing, which is conducted through its CPA (Cost Per Account)
affiliate network for such products as mobile games and credit
campaigns, with Mint’s pre-paid teen MasterCard, the partnership offers
social networks and financial products on one webpage. The “Mint
MasterCard” will provide users social gaming activities, a points
program redeemable for games, gifts, and trade, and a way for teens to
connect online interests with the real world.
Bank of America has launched a financial awareness campaign called “Morris on Campus, Life According to an Upperclassman”,
designed to financially educate and empower students this new academic year.
This outreach was spurred by a recent Bank
of America sponsored survey finding that 38% of
college-aged students reported they can use help in managing their money.
Morris will introduce students to Bank of America’s new Student Package, a suite of easy-to-use banking products designed
specifically for students, while also pointing them to helpful financial
resources, such as the Student Financial Handbook, a downloadable guide
that provides students with easy to understand explanations and advice on
an array of financial topics. BoA has also has teamed with Farnoosh Torabi, senior correspondent for
TheStreet.com and author of “You’re So Money” to conduct a national search
for the “BMOC” (or Be Money on Campus) student. The BMOC contest offers
college students a chance to win $25,000 by sharing their best financial
tips related to on and off-campus life.
The first major survey on “Gen Y” and “Baby Boomer” entrepreneurs reveals that both generations feel that America is worse off now than when they were kids. The “OPEN Ages” survey from American Express also found that passion, rather than money, fuels the success and entrepreneurial drive of both generations. However, in the area of risk, 72% “Gen Y” entrepreneurs say they like to take risks compared to just over half of “Baby Boomers.” The research found that on average both groups spend 10 hours per day working on business, and typically conduct some type of business activity 6 out of 7 days.The generations differ on America’s leadership in technology innovation with only 38% of “Gen Y” believing that the U.S. is the most technologically advanced country in the world compared to 57% of “Baby Boomers.” Surprisingly, the majority of both generations agree that raising minimum wage would not hurt small businesses.
A new survey has found that 41% of teens consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money, 34% know how to pay bills, 26% know how credit card interest and fees work, 24% know whether a check cashing service is good to use and 14% know how income taxes work or what a 401(k) plan. More than half believe that “it is easier to buy things with a credit card than cash” and, given the choice, 29% would actually prefer using a credit card, a 61% increase in this stated preference over last year. The research by Charles Schwab also found that American teens confidently predict a future in which, based on the career that interests them most, they will be earning an average annual salary of $145,500 (boys expect $173,000 vs. girls, $114,200). The reality: Only five percent of the U.S. population currently earns a six-figure income, and the average national wage stands at approximately $40,000.